SALT LAKE CITY —It’s been five years since the Boston Marathon Bombing. One Utah runner is looking back on the day that shook the running world and nation.
The Boston Marathon 2013.
“The day was fantastic, I mean I loved it, the weather was great,” said Toby Gunn reminiscing on the start of what appeared to be a promising day.
More than 23-thousand runners came from around the world to take part in the coveted 26.2-mile race.
“When you get to 20 (miles) you hit this wall, but when you get to 24 (miles), you’re just like ‘why is a marathon 26.2?’” Gunn smiled. “The energy is so full when you get there, and you can’t beat that, I mean that’s what you train for."
Toby finished the race in 3 hours, 49 minutes.
“Crossing that finish line, there was tears, there was happiness and… I got to enjoy that for maybe 15 to 20 minutes,” said Gunn.
Just 20 minutes later, an explosion rocked the nation and world.
“At that point, we didn’t know that there were deaths, it was just like chaos,” said Gunn.
Watching spectator footage caught by runners and viewers you can hear, “Something just blew up! Run! Go!”
Two bombs detonated 12 seconds and 210 yards apart at the finish line on Boylston Street.
Three people lost their lives and 264 people were injured, 16 of whom required amputations.
“It was horrific,” said Gunn. “The deaths and the maiming, that part was so disturbing."
Toby had finished the race just minutes before the explosions and ended up about three blocks from the finish line by the time the bombs went off.
“We didn’t even know as runners, really what was going on,” she said.
Still unsure of what had happened, Gunn grabbed her things and went to buy a chocolate milk.
“I turned around and they were all just like, staring up and so I looked obviously where their gaze was and that’s where it was on a tv above the fridge, the bombing,” she said. “I just stood there like, ‘wait what just happened? what just happened?'”
Five years later she looks back hopeful and more inspired than ever.
“As runners, or hopefully as a nation, moving forward is what’s important. If we dwell on the fact that those people, some selfish people took so much from us, and we give them more to take… I think we’re losing the battle,” Gunn said.
Gunn ran the marathon again in 2015 and says she’s ready to take it on again.